PALAU NEVER WAS ON MONEY LAUNDERING LIST, SAYS CHIEF OF STAFF KUAREI

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KOROR, Palau (November 28, 2001 - Palau Horizon/PINA Nius Online)---Palau was never on the list of jurisdictions providing refuge to money launderers, presidential chief of staff Billy Kuartei said.

Reports circulated that Palau was suspected as a money launderers’ haven after international banks refused to transact business with the country. Two years ago, the Bank of New York and Deutsche Bank alleged that Palau was a haven for money launderers.

However, according to the latest report on non-cooperative countries and jurisdictions issued by the Financial Action Task Force, Palau is not now and never was on the list of money laundering havens.

Meantime, the government has passed several new banking laws meant to keep out "dirty money" and facilitate the international prosecution of financial crimes. The laws are seen as helping Palau gain the full confidence of the international banking community.

The recently enacted laws will have to undergo amendments, however, as the task force has raised some concerns.

But President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. said the laws put Palau ahead of other nations that are still scrambling to put in place more effective anti-money laundering laws, especially in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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